June 10, 2018
Sunday June 10, 2018
1 Samuel 8:4-20, Genesis 3:8-15, 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1,
(check Textweek.com for direct access to a variety of translations)
Third Sunday after Pentecost :: Green ::
Call to Worship (Responsive) (from 2 Corinthians 4:16ff)
One: Today we’ve come to celebrate the ways God renews us, day by day.
Many: We look not at what can be seen, but rejoice in what cannotbe seen.
One: God provides for us, in this life and in life beyond this life!
Many: Even if we don’t see it with our eyes, we know it by God’s Spirit,
One: for God provides a house, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Many: So we do not lose heart, but we stand together
to worship the Lord our God!
Opening Prayer: consider singing verse 1 of God of Our Life (Chalice #713) after introducing it as the opening prayer
OR: God, thank you for your presence in this place and in our lives. Today, we’re so grateful for your willingness not to give up on us. Draw us close to you and to one another in this hour as we tell your story and rejoice in your Spirit. Renew us once again, as baptized believers, seeking to follow Jesus as participants in your Realm of Love and partners in your Kin(g)-dom. AMEN
Scripture reading: If you are using I Samuel 8,invite the congregation to make the refrain “he will take” as congregational refrain each time they hear it. The reader could explain “I will read the text, and each time I read “he will take”, I’ll pause, and ask you to repeat the phrase”. Practice it a time or two, then read, and make sure to point to the congregation each time you pause, so they will repeat. (6 times!)
Stewardship Moment: In the world of Samuel, the people wanted a king. Somehow, they believed it would be better to have someone “to govern them, to go out before them and to fight their battles”. As we read together, Samuel recognized a human king would not be the one to GIVE, but would be the one to TAKE from the people.
That stands in direct opposition to what God offers us. God offers to give us all that is necessary for life in this world, and (as we heard in our call to worship) “a house, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens”.
We respond to God’s abundant gift-giving with our own gratitude. How do we say “thank you”? With symbols of our very lives; time, talent and treasure offered in love.
So let us share our gifts, tithes and offerings.
Offertory Prayer: God of all good gifts, thank you for the ways you rule in our hearts and lives. Because you are gracious, you invite us to be part of your realm. So receive this offering as our declaration: may your Realm come, and your will be done, for the health and good of the whole cosmos.
Communion Meditation: Sometimes we use language without thinking of all it denotes or connotes. That happens often at this table. Sometimes we refer to Christ as King, or seated on a throne. (singing “Rejoice, the Lord is King”, or “let all with heart and voice, before his throne rejoice”)
But today, especially as we’ve thought about the Hebrew people’s desire to have a king appointed and to turn their backs on God as their Ruler, let’s use language which more accurately lifts up who we understand is inviting us to this Table, who we most want to be, and what we understand is happening when we share in these gifts of bread and cup.[use specifics from the hymn you’ll sing: “One Bread, One Body” (Chalice #393), or “Come, Risen Lord” (Chalice #397) or ”In Remembrance of Me” (C#403) provide rich language to lift up]